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Bible Discussion — Exodus 15-18 : Bweinh!

Bible Discussion — Exodus 15-18

July 4, 2007, 12:00 pm; posted by
Filed under Bible, Chloe, Connie, David, Josh J, MC-B, Steve  | 4 Comments

This week, Bweinh.com looks at the next four chapters of the Bible, Exodus 15-18.

Previously in Exodus: 1-4 | 5-8 | 9-11 | 12-14

The book of Genesis:
1-4 | 5-9 | 10-14 | 15-18-2 | 19-22 | 23-26 | 27-29
30-32 | 33-36 | 37-39 | 40-43 | 44-46 | 47-50

Those Israelites seem to have rather fond memories of slavery. If I were Moses I would have allowed them to try to return to Egypt, but then I’m a lesser man than he was.

This a wonderful section of Scripture — the celebration of the Red Sea victory, the institution of manna falling from heaven, and the visit from Jethro that leads Moses to organize his people.

There’s so much here! You start with a huge celebration of Israel’s victory in the Red Sea, immediately followed by the people’s murmuring over the lack of water. Then comes more murmuring and God’s presentation of manna and quails. And next, there’s still more murmuring about bitter water, a quick time out for a substantial battle, and it’s wrapped up by a visit from Moses’ in-laws, who first introduce judicial red tape.

The Israelites waited till they got to the aptly named Wilderness of Sin to start wishing they were dead and talking about how slavery was preferable to hunger.

This passage also has Israel’s first battle, and it’s the Amalekites (descendants of Esau) who started the trouble. If only they’d stayed out of Rephidim, things would have been different…

Moses preserved a jar of manna so that people would not forget it. I wonder what happened to it.

Ex. 17:6 spoke of the rock being struck to bring forth water, and it cross-referenced 1 Corinthians 10:4. I never saw that before — Christ is our rock, smitten for us to be our refreshing Water of Life, but those who drink of this Water will not perish!

The first water crisis and its resolution became “a statute and an ordinance.” God wants it officially established that He’s going to be proving them. They can cry out to Him in times of need, and He will supply.

Steve: Melting Mighty
Connie: Murmurings of the Children
Chloe: The Palm Trees
Josh: What Is It, Hurled Horse
David: Blast of Thy Nostrils
MC-B: Omer of Manna

Keith Green‘s classic song, “So You Wanna Go Back To Egypt?” “Ooh, my life’s on the skids — give me the Pyramids!”

The visit from Moses’ father-in-law could be updated and stretched out into that one episode of every sitcom where the in-laws come to town and start nitpicking everything the main characters do. Of course, this version ends a little differently, but the concept is the same.

Luke 12:22, where Jesus tells us not to worry about what we will eat or wear because God will provide it for us, just as He provides it for the ravens and the lilies.

Actually, I hate to admit this, but the interaction of Moses and Jethro reminds me of Daniel and his father-in-law on Stargate.

When Moses tells the people they grumble not against him, but against the Lord, I think of Paul’s encounter on the road to Damascus. “Saul, why do you persecute Me?” It makes me stop and think about the way we treat one another, and how it offends the Lord.

This section lays out the whole template for our walk of faith. Over and over, God calls this a time of testing, designed to see what they will do. Can they trust God, as pilgrims and sojourners, to daily provide what they need with no visible means of supply? Can they be faithful to gather the manna and be satisfied with his provision?

All I can think of while reading this whole story is the section of my Bible titled “Do Not Worry.” When there weren’t other possibilities, God actually made food fall from the sky and water spring from rocks. Why should we worry about anything when the Israelites endured this for 40 years and came through it successfully?

The most important thing for people these days is to have money stored somewhere, whether in savings accounts, CDs, stocks or some other form of investment. I can’t imagine people giving all that up to trust God to feed them from day to day, but thousands of people can testify to His faithfulness in doing just that. I am one of them, having been through times when there wasn’t even bread or milk in the house. God always provided, though, and despite my family’s poverty, I cannot remember ever being hungry or missing a meal unwillingly.

The Israelites didn’t want to trust God to feed them from day to day. Well, neither did I. I would have preferred to trust Him to feed me from week to week or month to month. The Israelites didn’t have a choice, though, and God was faithful for 30,000 meals in the desert. Hallelujah!

Why can’t we just trust Him and be patient? He gives us everything we need.

I like the politeness and respect that exists between Moses and his father-in-law, and how Moses is humble enough to accept his advice on civil matters.

I think it’s important for everyone to memorize 16:36. It’ll come in handy one day, just you watch.

The Lord showed Moses a piece of wood that made water sweet. It doesn’t get much more random than that.

Even though Moses told them to collect twice as much on the sixth day, you had to know there’d be a few out there on the Sabbath looking for manna anyway…

The last verse of chapter 16 had to be like the modern-day asterisk denoting information to explain a sentence above. That’s the only way “Now an omer is one-tenth of an ephah” can fit into the passage contextually.

Also, why is it that poor Jethro has had his name sullied by association with a stereotypical hick?

15:26 — our Healer; 17:6 — the Rock.

Moses’ father-in-law plays a Christlike role in encouraging Moses to delegate and give others authority to do things under God.

In the manna. “I am the true bread that came down from Heaven…if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever…”

Connie, Chloe:
16:18 — “So when they measured it by omers, he who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack. Every man had gathered according to each one’s need.” God knows exactly what we need.

David, Josh:
15:2 — “The LORD is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation;
He is my God, and I will praise Him;
My father’s God, and I will exalt Him.”

15:13 — “You in Your mercy have led forth
The people whom You have redeemed;
You have guided them in Your strength
To Your holy habitation.”

15:18“The Lord shall reign forever and ever.”

I’d like to know more about Midian. Jethro is called the priest of Midian, and when he comes to Moses, he officiates at the burnt offering and sacrifice they offer. Midian was the son of Abraham and Keturah, a concubine Abraham married after Sarah’s death. Apparently his descendants were faithful to worship the one true and living God. At least for a while.

The apparent randomness is a bit troubling sometimes; I wonder if God required all of those seemingly arbitrary things (throwing the wood into the water, having Moses keep his hands raised) to prove his power, or for other reasons.

I’d like to see the manna in action, appearing in the morning, being made into bread, and then rotting overnight and breeding worms. Sounds like fascinating stuff!

Why are stupid people so stupid?

Why did Moses need to raise his hands to secure God’s blessing in battle?

How did the whole manna thing really work?

God is so patient and good to His people.

Listen to the wisdom of your elders. Even a great leader like Moses, who took his marching orders directly from God, benefited from this. I can’t even imagine the chaos he faced before Jethro suggested a more structured way to hold court.

God doesn’t promise to give you lots of money and material belongings if you put your trust in Him, but He does give His Word that you will not go hungry or naked.

Jesus taught us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” There’s a reason He said daily. Manna is a perfect picture of the need for daily prayer and Bible reading. You can’t gather enough one day to last for several days. And if they didn’t get up early enough? The sun melted it away and there was nothing left.

Jethro gave some good advice to Moses, encouraging him to delegate the smaller cases. It’s no wonder he was so ticked off all the time, having to deal with both the Israelites’ lack of faith AND their landlord-tenant disputes.

I want to try manna. As long as I don’t have to eat it for forty years.

I especially thought it was a good lesson to have an outsider come in and look at things, like Jethro did for Moses. Sometimes the most obvious things are right in front of us.

This section teaches so much we need to establish in our daily walk with God.

The Israelites begin earning their less than sterling reputation here — complaining mere days after miraculous deliverance, displaying a remarkable inability to follow the most basic of instructions, arguing amongst themselves. I know the patience God displayed with them has been every bit as necessary in my own life.

600,000 Jews (not counting women and children) are about to enter into a boot camp experience that none of them but Joshua and Caleb will graduate from. How’s that for a drop-out rate?


4 Comments to “Bible Discussion — Exodus 15-18”

  1. Bible Discussion -- Exodus 19-22 : Bweinh! on July 11th, 2007 12:32 pm

    […] Previously in Exodus: 1-4 | 5-8 | 9-11 | 12-14 | 15-18 […]

  2. Bible Discussion -- Exodus 23-26 : Bweinh! on July 18th, 2007 12:10 pm

    […] in Exodus: 1-4 | 5-8 | 9-11 | 12-14 | 15-18 | […]

  3. Bible Discussion -- Exodus 27-30 : Bweinh! on August 1st, 2007 12:11 pm

    […] in Exodus: 1-4 | 5-8 | 9-11 | 12-14 | 15-18 | 19-22 | […]

  4. Bible Discussion -- Exodus 35-40 : Bweinh! on August 15th, 2007 12:06 pm

    […] in Exodus: 1-4 | 5-8 | 9-11 | 12-14 | 15-18 19-22 | 23-26 | 27-30 | […]

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